The transformation is complete, I am you, you am I, and boy is it confusing. When you went to Rose's Bar on South Beach recently to see For Squirrels and the new lineup of Natural Causes, you weren't sure whether to laugh, cry, or jack somebody's ass. You had more than one opportunity and more than a good reason to punch out some loser or another, so thank goodness you are old and tired and chill and that you didn't have your maniac, six-foot-four, 220-pound brothers with you, because they never show such restraint. You were soaked with sweat by the end of the Squirrels set, and you don't even dance. For once you couldn't even persuade yourself to stick around for all of the Causes's two-set show. You know that the ones doing the work -- the club management and the bands -- love a packed room, even if it is packed past any reasonable max cap and begins to feel more like Hell (the fictional hot place, not the defunct Thomas Kramer club) than what it is, which is essentially a really cool joint. You couldn't move, couldn't breathe, couldn't imagine ever going back to Rose's on a weekend night when a couple of major acts are billed. You regret having spent so much money, especially on tips, to endure so much pain, although the drink service, considering the conditions, was fine. You were shocked to learn a few days later that Ray Roberts, a guy you've known since you were six years old, was at the same show and you never even saw him through the dense pack of humanity, which resembled Tom Wolfe's descriptions of Beatles concerts where the outstretched arms morph into a giant pink octopus. You hate paying a cover charge and then having to pay three or four dollars for a beer, but you think Rose's, which never has a cover, might consider the idea to keep the riffraff out.
As one of the members of Muse told you some time ago, "Music is the only place I fit in. When I go out, I feel like an oddball at all these clubs." The loved-by-those-who-know band fits in at the Talkhouse on Wednesday. Diane Ward will make a guest appearance, singing a tune with the Muse boys.
When For Squirrels play their first headline show in South Beach -- this Saturday at Rose's -- the opening act will be Diane Ward with Steve Sculley and Matt Sabatella.
So many women, so little time: Tomorrow (Friday) Valerie Archon, with her new band, plays at Nocturnal Cafe as Marianne Flemming's featured guests. Flemming hosts Fridays at the Nocturnal every week.
The featured act at this week's Cafe Bacala (the Tuesday night open-mike at Blue Steel for new readers) will be Dania Morris, with a possible guest appearance by Beethoven, or at least his boots.
This Sunday's Wide Open Mike Night at Squeeze features Second Son, with I Don't Know headlining the following Sunday.
One of your fave bands, Electric Mojo -- and not just because the members are Bud-soaked fisherfolk -- is back in action, pumping its psychtroswampnasboogwoog rock outside Biker's Paradise at the corner of Grand and Commodore in the Grove tomorrow (Friday) at 10:00 p.m.
This Sunday Mr. Tasty and the Bread Healers gets toasty at Plus Five.
When Kurt Cobain said his long goodbye, everyone figured that was the end of Nirvana. Wrong! Cell 63 frontman Rob Coe has been hired by the remaining two members to become the new singer for the new Nirvana. That's what you read in the Herald anyway. Cell 63 plays tomorrow (Friday) at Churchill's Hideaway, along with da Holy Terrors and Gus. The band A Cell 63, you mean A wasn't much interested in talking to Sony, but are in negotiations with another national label whose name you won't mention.
This Friday at la Squeeze, it's Meester Nil Lara live.
Every day you receive a pile of mailings from New Yawk and L.A. hyping national acts. You thought it was pretty cool that among this week's pile of said mailings were separate packages pushing Marilyn Manson and Collapsing Lungs. I and you know where these bands are from.
Saturday at the Expanding Light, the Folk Club stages Ron and Bari Litschauer and Southern Moon. Call 382-1282.
As I probably know, you love trees. So you plug the Royal Poinciana Fiesta, which begins tomorrow (Friday) and continues through June 19. (Check "Calendar" listings this week and next.) For more info, I can call 374-8500.
Brian Franklin and Marianne Flemming share the bill at the Underground Coffee Works on Sunday. Call 370-6083 for details.
The latest in the Hard Rock Cafe's series of rock-star designed T-shirts features a chewed-apple-globe crafted by Don Henley. The shirts (this is the ninth in the series) have reportedly raised some two million bucks for charities so far. I can buy them (for $20) only at the Hard Rock itself. That's the price you pay.
Catch Excessive tomorrow (Friday) at Button South.
Big news for fans of Lincoln Road. Sony Music's Latin division and its record label (Sony Discos) will soon be setting up shop at 605 Lincoln, in the 60-year-old building owned by Mera Rubell. The move-in should occur by the beginning of next year.
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Seems like a lot of shows on Sunday, and this ain't no holiday week. The mighty Day by the River takes shore leave at Chili Pepper on this week's day of rest.
Butthorn of the week: The Band, Diet Coke, and the latter's advert folks. There's this teevy commercial you saw in which the Band's music is used to shill for the soda of the fat. Right as the commersh ends, you hear the line "take a load off Fanny," or "fanny," as in rear end. Just a weird coincidence? You think not. By the way, you should mention that the Band plays live in Pompano this week (see "Calendar").
The media circus: Sure, you swore off mentioning Lollapalooza because they said a Miami date was confirmed, then no Miami date was listed, and now they don't seem to know what the hell they're doing and you don't care anyway. And, yes, I know and you know this is probably half publicity stunt. But Perry Farrell has won his war with J. Walter Thompson and the Ford Motor Company. The nonword "Lollapalooza" showed up in commercials for a Ford car, and Farrell said, "No, no, you can't do that." Now the ad company and Ford have decided Farrell's right, pulling the nonword out of their ads and donating money to a rain-forest charity as settlement.
Pet corner: So we're (gotcha!) at this party the other day saying so long to Ana J. as she heads off for an acting career. We ask Nel what's going to happen to Kina Baker, the legendary dog god. Nel seems confused by the cryptic question (we wanted to know if Kina was off to New Yawk with Ana or hanging here with the homeys). Ana J. walks into the room, says in a solemn tone: "Bake, you didn't hear what happened?" Heart pounds. Throat tightens. She's toying with, just acting. Oh, New Yawk's gonna love you.